Archive for May, 2006

Il Sole and The White Night in Como

IlSoleIl Sole, the sun in english. They couldn’t choose a better and more appropriate name for the dynamic ONLUS (Organization Non Lucrative for Social Affairs), recently become NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), dealing with distance adoptions and international cooperation projects, born in Como in 1997 from the initiative of Mrs. Olivia Piro.

Someone says the name is the most important thing for a person, so it is for Il Sole and the people involved in it as volunteers, since this name fully reflects the energy they have in the will to help children in distant countries such as India, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso.

They’re always busy, but never forget to praise their achievements, so last week they had a small party to inaugurate the new offices in Como, their operative headquarters, twice as big as the previous one, but most of all located in a quieter area and lit by the sunlight most of the day, making it more pleasant for the volunteers to do their work. They also recently got a brand new Toyota Jeep from the Fondazione Comasca to be used in their operations in Burkina.

Now they’re preparing for a series of events organized for the incoming Notte Bianca di Como on june 10.

They’ll take the whole Piazza De Gasperi near the lake and the Funicolare station and will entertain the public all night long. Even four comedians from the popular Zelig italian TV show will perform on the stage. For one long night it will become the Piazza del Sole!

Can’t wait for it, even if there will be a lot of work to do as a volunteer! 🙂

At this time there are two initiatives if you want to support them: the annual lottery which will last until July 24 and the 5×1000 donation on the income declaration. You can get more information by visiting the website of Il Sole.

No Comments

Touristech 2006 and Veronafil

TouristechTwo intense days made the weekend fly more swiftly than usual. On friday I attended the Touristech event in Villa Erba and I spent most of saturday in Verona at the Veronafil philately and numismatics fair.

Touristech is the first event organized by Wireless dedicated to new technologies and digital innovation at the service of the cultural entertainment and hospitality services for tourists. For this meeting they couldn’t choose a better location than the beautiful Villa Visconti, located in the Villa Erba park in Cernobbio. It has been a long time since I had the chance to walk in that park, although I’m often in Cernobbio, and I hadn’t remembered how pleasant and relaxing it is. In fact it was the first time I wasn’t tired when I went home after a day full of conference presentations instead of what usually happens after similar events organized in Milan.

One of the moderators didn’t forget to mention they shot some sequences of the Ocean Twelve Hollywood movie there. After all the benefits of the presence of George Clooney in his villa in Laglio seem to be much more valuable than the works by Luchino Visconti…

The presentations were all interesting, especially for the fact that the subject matter is the basis of a software project I’m working on together with the group of people I assembled at the beginning of this year. People make the difference in everything and this project is shaping up thanks to them . 🙂

I met Paolo Conti, a journalist of Il Sole 24 Ore, the brilliant moderator of the recent Mobile Force & Office Forum 2006 and we had the chance to talk about the project.

After a morning of presentations by representatives of the major players of the tourism market in Italy, such as Touring Club among the others, the event closed with a series case histories of mobile technology applied to outdoor journeys, such as the PDA guide they’re experimenting with at the Villa Reale Park of Monza and the PDA guide currently in use at the Swiss National Park.

Then I spent saturday among the numerous small stands of coins and stamp collectors setup in one of the huge exhibition halls of Verona Fiere. Should I mention this had something to do with the work behind the PC version of EcPc? 😉

My focus were Euro coins of course, and I had the chance to meet some users from the Italian forum, but unexpectedly I came back home with a surprise as much as precious: I managed to get the Green Vespa, the only Vespa model ever made for the famous Kinder surprise toys series!

I got to know of this particular toy since I read the book Vroom with a view by Peter Moore and I’ll certainly have another chance to write more about that. 😉

, , , ,

No Comments

IComo: Patents and Intellectual Property Rights

IComoPatents and intellectual property rights were the subject matter of the seminar organized by the research center Centro Volta related to the IComo: la fabbrica delle idee initiative, a project aimed to promote technology innovation among the local small and medium enterprises.

The meeting took place in Villa Olmo, the place chosen for the current exhibition devoted to Magritte, and consisted of a series of presentations by company managers and professional consultants involved in the delicate matter of tutelating intellectual property rights and exploiting the benefits and the added value of patents.

The current tendency is to consider a patent not only as a good tool of legal protection for a company’s idea or processing method, but also as an internal asset to make business with, a way of thinking americans already well know and effectively use. Testimonials of this were the managers of big companies such as ABB and Fiat with its CRF (Fiat Research Center).

From the conference clearly emerged that evaluating the convenience and opportunity of registering a patent is a delicate matter and requires the support of experts needed to perform a series of studies and researches in order to be able to produce a strong patent, which may be used as an effective protection tool especially for the local small enterprises constantly facing the counterfeiting phenomenon of a global market.

The innovation technology project I’m currently involved in, under the direct coordination of the Centro Volta, is evaluating these issues and after this seminar I’m even more convinced in the way of registering a patent to tutelate the work we’re doing and then make business with, if possible.

Registering a patent instead of maintaining an industrial secret inside a company has both advantages and disadvantages. With a patent your idea becomes public, but you tutelate yourself for the number of years you’re going to do business with. On the opposite think about the Coca-Cola formula for example. They say they didn’t patent it, so it still remains an industrial secret.

Software is an even more delicate matter if inserted in the patent issue, but that was not discussed in the meeting. The EU Commission is still debating about software patents and since they’re considered a big obstacle to innovation, especially by small developers, I suggest you to read about the NoSoftwarePatents campaign.

The conference ended with a funny and smart presentation by a lawyer who gave the audience some significant examples of the way of working in our country compared to the US. They seem to be different planets in this particular matter, not only by the numbers involved. 😉

No Comments

René Magritte in Como: L’Empire des Lumières

Magritte ComoLe basier, La saveur des larmes and L’empire des lumières.

These are the three paintings by René Magritte which impressed me the most during the visit to the exhibition now taking place in Como. An exhibition that is getting a lot of positive comments both from the critics and from the public and will probably reach and then exceed the number of visitors of the two exhibitions devoted to Picasso (77,000 visitors) and Mirò (70,000) which have taken place in the same rooms of the awesome Villa Olmo in the last two years.

I really liked it and I recommend that you visit the MagritteComo website to get the right directions to come in Como and visit the exhibition. It will last until july16th.

I spent two hours admiring all of the 80 creations of the Belgian Genius and I felt relaxed and enriched when I exited the Villa. I used the word Genius since he refused the title of “artist”, preferring the title “thinking man”, since he considered himself as someone who communicated thoughts through painting just as others did using music or writing.

Villa Olmo and its park on the lake is the perfect place to host such surrealist pieces of art. Inside the Villa they used the Dilumo, which stands for Dispositivi luminosi mobili” (mobile lightning devices). They’re light metal structures covered with the black sheet used in theatrical sets. Every piece is illuminated by optical fibers. That’s the only light in the exhibition and contributes a lot to the mysterious atmosphere you can feel along the route.

I read some interesting things about the life of Magritte and in particular I recall that he enjoyed inviting groups of friends to show them the latest paintings and play the “title game” to choose the title for them. 🙂

Too bad audioguides you can use along the exhibition only covered 22 of the 80 pieces. Probably I won’t miss the chance to visit it a second time, maybe accompanied by a real guide! 😉

In my opinion, mobile technology could be very useful in this kind of events and in fact it’s the subject matter of a project I’ve been working on since last year. More news about it soon.


No Comments